Saturday, November 19, 2011

Lit Analysis 3

1. Death of a Salesman, written by Arthur Miller, is a play about a family called the Loman's. The main character, named Willy, is the father and a salesman who is always commuting great distances for his job. He and his oldest son, Biff, seem to not get along and are constantly argueing. The audience learns that Willy loved his son the most when he was younger and was a stud football player. Biff would have been able to play football in college, but had poor grades in school. He had an opportunity to go to summer school and fix his grades, but decided not to. This really upset Willy and permanently damaged their relationship. Willy and his other son Happy seem to have a much better relationship and get along much better. Willy's wife's name is Linda and they have been married for awhile, but Linda wants Willy to get closer places to sale since he's getting older. Willy eventually talks to his boss, but this leads to the loss of his job. Linda is worried about her husband, because she feels he is thinking of death. Willy is so devastated about losing his job, because his life as a salesman has been such a huge part of his life. He does think about death and tries to kill himself a couple times. Willy is also constantly day dreaming and this is how the reader learns more about him and his family. Toward the end of the play, Willy dies by driving and getting in a car crash. His family is very sad and the play ends with his funeral.

2. One of the main themes in Death of a Salesman is "chasing the american dream" and throughout the story Willy believes that a hard working business man should and will live a material and comfortable life. Since he is such a strong believer in this, he ends up having serious psychological problems when he loses his job and realizes that his dream of the perfect life is over. This leads to his downfall and eventually his death.

3. The tone in the play is mostly serious and sad. Willy reminisces about when Biff and Happy were younger and when they had a closer relationship, but those were really the only pleasant moments. The rest of the story was really serious and it was troubling that Biff and Willy had such a shaky realtionship. None of the characters seemed very happy, and Linda seemed to always be worried about Willy. It was also sad that Willy never mended his relationship with Biff and that Willy really fell apart when he lost his job.

4.A literary technique that is used in this play is symbolism and it was demonstrated by the seeds that Willy would plant in his garden. If Willy can suceed in making the seed grow and become something, maybe he will suceed as a dad and as a salesman. Or maybe they represent something that Willy can make better by growing them into something strong, because he's not suceeding in the growth of his business or relationship with Biff. Another form of symbolism is the rubber hose, which Willy uses to try and attempt suicide. This is also ironic because the substance that he tried to kill himself with is also what he used in his home with for his and his family's health and comfort. A different element the author uses is hyperbole and Willy exagerates the american dream. His whole life is consumed by this idea and it overtakes his existence. Also Arthur Miller uses flashbacks so the audience can get background information he feels is important.

1 comment:

  1. I did not realize the symbolism of the seeds when I first read this book, thank you for pointing that out!